Broadcast 20 January 2013
Wessex Archaeology was commissioned by Videotext Communications Ltd to undertake a programme of archaeological recording and post-excavation work on an archaeological evaluation undertaken by Channel 4’s ‘Time Team’ at the site of Henham Park, Wangford with Henham, Suffolk (NGR 645098, 278223). An evaluation consisting of six trenches, magnetometer survey and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey sought to characterise both the chronology of the site and to locate and investigate the two houses known to have existed on the site; one dating to the Tudor period and one to the Georgian period. The fieldwork was undertaken between 29 May–1 June 2012.
Trenches 1, 2, 4 and 6 were located within the footprint of the Tudor house and successfully identified its position as well as characterising some aspects of its layout. The results from these trenches correlated with some surviving drawings and plans of this structure. Evidence suggests the house was probably systematically dismantled after its destruction by fire in 1773.
In Trench 3 a large ditch was located, thought to be contemporary with the Tudor house; however, a ditch and evidence of quarrying were considered to relate to earlier activity. Other features dating to the medieval period were also found within Trench 1 just to the east.
Trench 5 was targeted on the Georgian house and was able to confirm the position of this building by correlating the evaluation results with known plans of the structure.Evidence from this trench suggests that material from the Tudor house was reused within its construction.
This evaluation was therefore able to successfully locate both the Tudor and Georgian Houses and provide information on their survival as well as contributing to the known history of both these structures. The result of this work could be used to inform further investigation or management of the site. It is also recommended that a short summary of the results should be submitted to the Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute for Archaeology & History, to be included in their annual roundup of archaeology in the county.